Chapter published in:Space in Diachrony
Edited by Silvia Luraghi, Tatiana Nikitina and Chiara Zanchi
[Studies in Language Companion Series 188] 2017
► pp. 281–304
Asymmetries in path encoding in Sicilian
A diachronic overview
This paper proposes a description of the encoding of path within the system of the spatial relations in present-day Sicilian, with a retrospective glance to the diachronic developments of that system. Two features characterize the spatial relations in present-day Sicilian: (a) consistent with a cross-linguistic tendency, the relation between source and direction is asymmetric, as the latter receives a richer and more fine-grained expression; moreover, direction may conflate into locative expression; (b) in contrast with a cross-linguistic tendency, which predicts a lower degree of autonomy for path, this role has a dedicated preposition and makes use of a non-prepositional strategy, namely a reduplicative construction expressing the spatial extension through which the event is brought about. The diachronic development of present-day system has been reconstructed by means of the scrutiny of corpus data from 14th to 19th centuries. This analysis has shown a substantial consistency in the encoding of spatial relations over time, although a certain degree of variation of the linguistic means expressing them.
Keywords: Sicilian, spatial relations, Path, Location, Direction, Source
Published online: 14 August 2017
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